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ANTHROPOGENIC FACILITATION OF SPECIES INVASIONS

Convened by: Jeff Crooks (jcrooks@trnerr.org) and Jim Eckman (jeckman@ucsd.edu

This plenary session will address the role of anthropogenic activities in accelerating species invasions of estuarine habitats, and the compromises faced by environmentalists, managers, and regulators who must use extremely limited resources to choose which invasions to attempt to control and how control efforts must be approached. Three keynote speakers will present different, and possibly discordant, perspectives on this topic. 

Plenary Speakers

Gregory M. Ruiz, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Greg Ruiz is a Marine Ecologist with broad research interests in invasion biology, biogeography, and ecology in coastal marine ecosystems. A major component of his research focuses on spatial and temporal variation in marine invasion dynamics and factors that limit the success (establishment, abundance, and impact) of non-native species. Greg holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Aquatic Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Greg is author or coauthor on over 100 scientific articles. For additional information visit the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Marine Invasions Research Lab.

Steven S. Rumrill, Shellfish Program Leader, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Steve Rumrill is a marine and estuarine ecologist who has worked over the past three decades primarily in the shallow sub-tidal zones, kelp beds, rocky intertidal areas, eelgrass beds, salt marshes, and soft-sediment habitats of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. He received his academic training as an invertebrate zoologist, reproductive biologist, and larval ecologist, and he has taxonomic expertise with communities of echinoderms, mollusks, and crustaceans throughout the Pacific Northwest. As the leader for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife / Shellfish Program, Steve has statewide responsibilities for the conservation and management of shellfish populations and characterization of their habitats. Steve participates regularly in efforts to document the arrival and spread of new non-native species, and he works closely with his colleagues to identify and implement rapid-response actions to minimize the likelihood of establishment by non-native species along the Oregon coast.

Chris Scianni, Acting Environmental Program Manager, Marine Invasive Species Program, California State Lands Commission

Chris Scianni is a Senior Environmental Scientist, and Acting Environmental Program Manager, with the California State Lands Commission’s Marine Invasive Species Program. He provides scientific and technical assistance in developing policies and regulations on the prevention of ship-mediated biological invasions. His primary focus is on identifying and better understanding the risk factors associated with ship bio-fouling, and developing policies aimed at reducing risk and preventing invasions. Chris holds a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from California State University, Long Beach, and a M.Sc. in Biological Oceanography from California State University, Stanislaus, through the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

Special Sessions

SCI-021 Dynamics, Impacts or Control of Invasive Species
Convened by: Jeff Crooks (jcrooks@trnerr.org) and Jim Eckman (jeckman@ucsd.edu

To complement a plenary session on "Anthropogenic Facilitation of Species Invasions" we are soliciting oral and poster contributions on a variety of issues related to the topic of "invasive species" - such as (though not restricted to) a) documentation of species introduction, establishment and spread; b) their impacts on ecosystems invaded; c) analysis of vectors of invasion, and/or d) efficacy and impacts of attempts to control.  Contributions will be grouped into sessions of internally closely related talks or posters based on submissions received.

SCI-022 Restoring Wetland Function by Controlling Invaders: The Case of Spartina
Convened by: Joel Gerwein (jgerwein@scc.ca.gov)

Efforts to eradicate invasive Spartina from the west coast of North America provide a case study for restoring wetland function through control of invasive species. Spartina grasses are keystone tidal marsh species, valued where native – and frequent targets of eradication where non-native. Demonstrated ecological effects of Spartina invasions include hybrid swamping, trophic shifts, and beneficial interactions with endangered species. Spartina control in the U.S. has been successful: infestations have been reduced from 9,000 acres in Washington and 2,500 acres in San Francisco Estuary to less than 7 acres and 50 acres, respectively. Challenges include effects on endangered species and opposition to herbicides.

SCI-023 The Relevance of Biological Invasions on Ecosystem Functioning
Convened by: Pedro Morais (pmorais@ualg.pt) and Ronaldo Sousa (ronaldo.sousa@ciimar.up.pt

This session will demonstrate the need to merge the study of biological invasions in estuarine and coastal ecosystems with the putative impacts that non-indigenous species (NIS) might exert on ecosystem processes and functions. This central topic unfolds in several subtopics- the interplay of NIS with native species (e.g. biotic interactions, population dynamics, genetic diversity); how NIS affect the abiotic environment (e.g. ecosystem engineering, nutrient budgets); how NIS shift the goods and services that estuarine and coastal ecosystems provide (e.g. fisheries; management- including monitoring and eradication programs). Thus, all works covering these topics will be considered to integrate this session.